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Roc Nation Sports: Jay-Z's sports agency

Born in 2013, the American rapper's "squad" is composed not only of great footballers but by other sports stars

Roc Nation Sports: Jay-Z's sports agency Born in 2013, the American rapper's squad is composed not only of great footballers but by other sports stars

Soon the transfer market season will start, among the many negotiations in secret locations, medical tests and last minute contract, maybe we should get used to the idea of ​​seeing Mino Raiola, Rummenigge, Jay-Z sitting at the same table. If the connection is more logical between the Italian-Dutch agent and the former Bayern Munich and FC Inter Milan striker, the point of contact with the New York rapper is more subtle and is called Roc Nation Sports.

Roc Nation is an agency founded in 2008 by Jay-Z, ever since he it was born he has worked in every area of entertainment, helping producers and musicians to develop their own artistic projects. In 2013 Shawn Corey Carter decided to open the sports division, which manages contracts, media relations and branding strategies on behalf of athletes. The landing in mainstream American sports was immediate and expected, while for a year now the label seems to have focused on European football, signing players like Romelu Lukaku, Jerome Boateng, Axel Witsel, Eric Bailly and finally Kevin De Bruyne.

Roc Nation is explained through the figure of Jay, long involved in all kinds of entrepreneurial projects, which led him, and his 21 Grammys, to find his own record label, which launched Kanye West among others. In addition, he has closed deals with several fashion brands, created a music streaming service, and a champagne brand. For the artist, the sports agency is therefore just one of many projects, which generated more than $ 900 million in contracts only in 2017.

The first athlete to enter Roc Nation Sport was Robinson Canò, the Dominican second baseman of the New York Mets and at the time (2013) to the Yankees, a team for which the Bedford-Stuyvesant rapper has always shown great support, helping spread the iconic New Era hat in mass culture and the world of rap. In baseball, other stars were also added such as CC Sabathia and Joenis Cespedes, a strong pair of Cuban players who have been two of the few to have fled the island to play in MLB.

The sports division has also expanded to boxing (with 7 athletes), to American football (21) and to basketball (24), a sport in which it manages the interests of the two-time MVP of The Finals, Kevin Durant, champion in charge with the Golden State Warriors.

The bond between Jay and basketball is very strong also thanks to PUMA. The brand in 2019 had a revival in the NBA thanks to the election of the rapper as President and Creative Director of the basketball section. Jay-Z is the brand leader in the creative and marketing field and plays an active role in finding the best prospects to put under contract for PUMA. This special relationship with the brand founded by Rudolf Dassler may also have been reflected in football. Of the 5 players put under contract in fact, as many as 4 are currently sponsored by PUMA, the only one excluded is Kevin DeBruyne, currently a Nike athlete but probably close to switching to the German brand, which will pay citizens 75 million euros per year, for 10 years.

PUMA is a partner of Roc Nation and this is the real motivation for which the label is investing in European football, a business opportunity too big to be ignored.

Jay over the years has been the author of the success of a large number of international artists such as Rihanna and Rita Ora as well as his wife Beyoncé. In football, this type of path is very unlikely, even if agents in many cases can play a decisive role in the career of young players. In baseball, football and basketball Roc Nation Sport is already focused on minor league players while in football the project started with well-known names, belonging to clubs with a large fan base such as Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and City.

Roc Nation Sport is an example of celebrity management of the sportsman, which supports not only the sporting aspect but also a series of collateral activities increasingly focused to create a brand around the names of the athletes. A versatile model that comes out of strictly football tracks, improving the perception and image of the robotic player and restricted to the playing field only.